Just found the Grid Computing blog by Nikita Ivanov (I'm not sure how I missed that before), and I stumbled on this old (but still topical) post about Open Source Software (he refers to it as "OS" in the quote). He's talking about an event he had just attended with CxOs of major corporations (like Wal*Mart):
OS was practically laughed at on this event... Explanation was pretty simple: any serious mid- to large-business would use OS product only if it would have IBM-style support for it. Period, end of story. In order to get IBM-style support you need to pay - and pay a lot, to the point where free licensing in many cases stops making economic sense. This is rather obvious and blunt explanation but the one that fits reality: companies pay > $100K for Linux installation/maintenance/support from major vendors such IBM, HP and Novell...I don't have anything huge to add to that--it's a view I've long espoused. Open Source Software has some great success stories, and some great technical successes. But it's not a panacea, and, on an enterprise scale, isn't as free as it sounds.
I've heard people here at SaaScon refer to SaaS and Open Source as if they are somehow inextricably linked, and it's a bit annoying. SaaS can be implemented on any OS on any platform--free or expensive, open source or not.
(More posts on SaaScon to come, including an exciting new pronunciaton of SaaS!)